|Posted on April 9, 2018 at 10:45 AM|
Over three months ago, Mary Nolan Hickey set out from Arklow Lifeboat Station in Wicklow, to run round the Irish coastline and complete a 'Lap Of The Map' to raise funds and awareness for the RNLI.
Photo: RNLI/Niamh Stephenson
With the finish line in sight, Mary will be returning to the very spot from where she set off, this Saturday (14 April) to be greeted by family, friends, supporters and lifeboat crew from around the country.
During her amazing adventure, 65 year-old Mary has been up hill and down dale. She has been taken into people homes and shown incredible hospitality from local businesses and clubs across the country.
Mary has captured the hearts and imagination of people nationwide, visited over 40 RNLI lifeboat stations and raised more than €32,000 for the charity so far.
Commenting on her achievement Mary said: 'I'm excited to be so close to finishing and raising a great sum for the RNLI and its volunteers.'
Mary started her journey on New Years Day 2018 with an aim to raise as much money as possible for the charity and to complete an 'RNLI LAP OF THE MAP.' She left her small business in the capable hands of her son and departed with a plan to keep in touch with the RNLI the whole way around and to rely on the kindness of strangers and people she met enroute at the various lifeboat stations. Through her dedicated support team this soon changed and local people, hotels, B&B’s all got onboard and provided Mary with everything from accommodation to massages, runners, equipment, food and much more.
Mary’s Lap of the Map has also amassed a significant following on social media, where her supporters have cheered her on through the emotional ups and downs of her journey. Her route has taken her anti clockwise around Ireland. Her initial fundraising target was €20,000 but she has long ago smashed that.
She added, ‘I started off thinking about €20,000 and would have been very happy to reach that, now we’re over €30,000 and still climbing, I suppose reaching this target shows how well supported the RNLI is by the people, places and communities I’ve been through’
She added: ‘RNLI volunteers save people at sea and on our inland waters every day. In my opinion, they’re the real heroes. They put themselves right in the thick of what can be the most unforgiving environment; our seas and waterways.’
You can join the final week of Mary’s journey by visiting her Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/rnlilapofthemap2018" target="_blank">https://www.facebook.com/rnlilapofthemap2018 or by following her on Twitter https://twitter.com/RNLILapoftheMap" target="_blank">@rnlilapofthemap
Her fundraising page is: https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/rnli-lap-of-the-map" target="_blank">https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/rnli-lap-of-the-map